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Background Screening for Volunteers Working With Minors

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Using 4-H Online To Register Master Gardener Volunteers That Work With Youth

Presented June 24, 2021, by Mitzi Downing, Asst. State Program Leader 4-H Youth Development & FCS

Zoom recording, passcode 4ng7w$*7  – You will be required to sign in to Zoom to watch this recording
During the webinar, Mitzi shared the following guidance:
In early 2020, the UNC System put into place a youth policy that requires all staff and volunteers who work directly with youth to complete certain requirements that have to be tracked. N.C. Cooperative Extension staff and volunteers initially completed this process through Reporter, but will now do this through 4-H online, which provides a better experience for both volunteers and staff.
All staff and volunteers that work directly with youth are required to register at one of the following levels:
  • Level 1: Staff/volunteers that work directly with youth and could have care, custody, and control of young people (they could be left alone with minors – for example, club leaders, program managers). This level requires:
    • Background screening every 3 years (typically takes 3 days – 2 weeks for results)
    • 4-H online registration, updated annually – this includes watching the minors training video
  • Level 2: Staff/volunteers that work with youth but always have a level 1 Extension staff or volunteer, or another responsible party (for example, a teacher, camp leader, after school director), with them. This includes volunteers who help conduct programs in schools and for summer camps where a teacher/camp leader is always present.
    • 4-H online registration, updated annually – this includes watching the minors training video
    • Level 2 volunteers may choose to register as level 1 volunteers (this is encouraged!)  

To register, go to, and click on ‘Don’t have an account’

  • 4-H Online is a national program used by 45 states. Registration takes ~30 minutes to complete – this includes watching a 17-min video. Registration does not have to be completed in one sitting – you can stop and return where you left off.
  • Visit NC 4-H Online 2.0 for instructions, tools, and resources
Contact Mitzi Downing,, if you:
  • Have volunteers who run into issues registering
  • Would like admin permissions for 4-H online
  • Have questions about 4-H online

MOU for Youth Program Partnerships

An MOU template for partnerships between Extension and outside youth organizations in which Master Gardener volunteers or Extension agents serve as “guest instructors” for the outside organization’s program is available from this Google Drive folder.
NOTE: This template only applies to programs that are not sponsored by NC State and therefore do not fall under NC State’s Minors Regulation.
Learn more: